The thirst for green spaces in New York City is never more apparent than the first warm day each spring. Thousands of nature-starved city dwellers stake out their territory in parks with beach towels, turning places like Central Park's Sheep Meadow into a 15-acre patchwork quilt.
There is, however, a peaceful, green oasis in the city complete with lush rain forests, towering cacti and orchids elegantly dripping from hanging pots -- and it can be enjoyed even during the most dreary winter days.
The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx has been a world-class institute since 1891 when, in an effort to turn New York City into a global cosmopolitan capital, two eminent botanists took a picturesque piece of city-property and transformed it into a living museum.
Today, the 250-acre estate offers a little bit of everything to visitors. There is a garden home to over 650 varieties of roses, filling the summer air with pure perfume. The rock garden, which trims a meandering stream with alpine blossoms, feels like a piece of Switzerland, instead of a subway ride away from Times Square. There is also a perennial garden filled with an ever-changing kaleidoscope of vibrant flowers.
For keen gardening enthusiasts, the New York Botanical Garden's Victorian-style glass conservatory may feel familiar. The botanists who founded the Bronx garden drew their inspiration from a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew near London, whose crystalline palm house is iconic.
And New York isn't the only city with a stunning garden that can help you take a break from the crushing masses -- some of the world's most beautiful botanic gardens can be found in bustling cities like Montreal, Singapore and more.
Click below to see where these living works of art can be found: